Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pussification of America's Youth Continues

A few minutes of ‘300’ too much for some middle school’s parents

By Victor Alvis
Dalton Daily Citizen

A screening Wednesday of the first few minutes of the R-rated movie “300” in a Westside Middle School classroom has left more than one parent and some students upset.

Richard Schoen, executive director of assessment and accountability for Whitfield County Schools, said about five minutes of the movie was shown.

According to two parents, history teacher Brad Barrett showed the first 7-9 minutes of the movie as part of his class. Barrett could not be reached for comment.

“My daughter came home from school yesterday distraught, saying her teacher showed her an R-rated movie. I was shocked,” said parent Tina McCurley. “I found out it was the ‘300.’ It was the first time I’d heard of the movie, so I went online (to to read the reviews. They described it as a pornographic slaughter movie with prolonged scenes of female nudity, sex acts, lesbian and homosexual content.”

The Internet Movie Database,, says “300” is based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel concerning the 480 B.C. Battle of Thermopylae, in which the King of Sparta led his army of 300 against the advancing Persians; the battle is said to have inspired all of Greece to band together against the much larger Persian army and helped to usher in the world’s first democracy.

Schoen said on Thursday that administrators have investigated the incident and confirmed only about a five-minute clip of the movie was shown.

“I watched it with the principal (Stan Stewart). The clip had no profanity, no nudity, no violence,” he said. “It depicts a Spartan boy and the process he went through in attempting to attain manhood. We didn’t find it disturbing and thought it was appropriate to the lesson. There were no battle scenes. The clip starts with a boy as a baby and ends as he enters the army.”

Schoen confirmed one scene depicts the boy using a spear to protect himself from a wolf. The violence is shown off screen via a shadow on a wall, he said.

“Most sixth-graders are 12 years old,” Schoen said. “This is not something that age group is not reasonably exposed to on today’s television.”

Schoen said movies shown at the middle school level should be on an approved list, available from the school media center or pre-approved by the principal.

“This one wasn’t,” he said. “That is something we will deal with. We will handle that as a personnel issue in an appropriate manner.”

Schoen did not say how long Barrett has been a teacher, but he said Barrett is not new to the profession.

“From what I’m hearing, the teacher showed it to them to get them ready to study ... that time period, so they could understand what it was like then,” McCurley said. “From everything I’ve read, the previews and the trailer, I don’t feel the movie is appropriate for these students. If movie theaters can’t show rated-R movies without a parent present, how can they do this in the schools?”

McCurley said she wants her daughter removed from the class.

“My daughter could not sleep last night, and I’ve heard many others couldn’t either,” she said, allowing she sees nothing wrong with the movie’s first five minutes. “We don’t know how much he showed to them. The students were not sitting there looking at their watches. I don’t care if it was one minute. ‘R’ movies have no place in our schools.”

A mother of another child in the class said she finds it upsetting that the movie was shown to new middle-schoolers during the second full week of school.

“We don’t allow R-rated movies in our home. It’s humiliating for Westside, but I can see where the teacher had a history lesson he was trying to get across,” she said. “I hate it for the school and the teacher. I know he was trying to hook them into being interested in that war and that age.”

The parent said her daughter is part of a gender-based classroom of all girls, and she understands mixed-gender classes saw it, too.

“We’re having mass killings in schools, then they show this movie. My daughter was very confused and took it at a different level,” she said. “Parents should be notified beforehand. My child would not have gone to school that day if I had been told. I told her, ‘If they put it back in (Thursday), call me.’”


Craig said...

SO my question is, how does this warrant any media attention at all? Yeah it's a huge cornucopia of clusterf#*kery showing the insecurities of an overprotected child with reactionary, unreasonable parents but news worthy?

Ryan said...

are you f*cking serious. suck it up deal with it life isnt always pleasant this is a perfect example of the pussification of America..